Coroner: Casey Johnson’s death diabetes related
Socialite Casey Johnson died of a complication of diabetes, the
Los Angeles County coroner said Thursday.
Johnson, 30, an heir to the Johnson & Johnson health care
products fortune, died of diabetic ketoacidosis, the coroner said
in a brief statement. Diabetic ketoacidosis is a life-threatening
condition caused by lack of insulin and sky-high blood sugar.
An autopsy was conducted Jan. 5, a day after Johnson’s body was
found at her home. The coroner’s office said it would not be able
to discuss specifics until the autopsy report and toxicology
results become available within two weeks.
Dr. Michael Baden, former chief medical examiner in New York
City, said Johnson probably slipped into a diabetic coma, but
people can usually be resuscitated from that in the first 24
“If you have somebody with diabetes, there should be somebody
checking up on that person,” said Baden, who has been an expert
witness in cases involving the late comedian John Belushi and
former pro football star O.J. Simpson.
A message left for a family spokesman was not immediately
Johnson, the daughter of New York Jets owner Robert “Woody”
Johnson, lived a party life. In December, she announced her
engagement to bisexual reality TV star Tila Tequila.
Her body was flown east for a private funeral.
Johnson had been an insulin-dependent diabetic since childhood.
A memorial fund in her name was set up with the Juvenile Diabetes
Research Foundation. Her father is chairman of that organization
and co-author of the book “Managing Your Child’s Diabetes.”
Casey Johnson lived in a quiet neighborhood behind big wooden
gates marked “Grumblenot,” but she often partied with high school
friend and fellow heiress Paris Hilton.
Johnson was charged in December with burglary and receiving
stolen property for allegedly taking $22,000 in clothing, jewelry
and other items from a friend’s home. She pleaded not guilty and
faced a February hearing.
She is survived by her parents, two younger sisters, and an
adopted child she named Ava-Monroe, after her idol, Marilyn